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Florida man armed with pepper spray, knife shot by officer after running from mental health clinic: police

Police in Ocala, Florida, shot a 23-year-old man who posed a threat after he ran from a mental health clinic and was armed with a knife, authorities said.

A 23-year-old man who ran away from a mental health clinic in Florida on Sunday was critically wounded in a police shooting after officers encountered him armed with pepper spray and a knife, authorities said.

The man, whose name was not immediately released publicly, had been taken to The Vines Hospital by family members to be admitted just before 12:30 p.m. when he began "acting erratic" and ran from the clinic, the Ocala Police Department said.

Officers found the man about 10 minutes later near the 5500 block of SW 27th Avenue.

When officers approached the 23-year-old, he was determined to be "an immediate threat," prompting officers to use deadly force and shoot the man, according to the department.

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Police later said the man was armed with pepper spray and a knife when officers made contact.

Preston Bare told WESH-TV that he was heading home when he witnessed the encounter between the man and police.

"The cop was holding the gun, and there was another cop holding the Taser on him, and he was patting on his chest, pleading with the man to please drop whatever he had in his hands," Bare told the station. "Then he got tased, and he started to immediately run toward the cop that had his gun drawn on him, spraying him while he's running with the knife in his hand, and then he got shot."

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The man was rushed to a local hospital and underwent surgery. Police said he is in serious condition and has further medical procedures pending.

No officers were harmed during the incident.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is assisting in the investigation, as is standard protocol.

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